On Monday Facebook launched a pile of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant in its request for a slice of a market currently influenced by Amazon and Google. Portal an AI Video Calling Device Launched by Facebook, the vice president of Facebook’s consumer hardware Andrew Bosworth told before the launch of “Portal”.
“It’s been a big shift for the company We’ve seeb a Rise of video calling on both messenger and whatsapp -It HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS TREND”
From Monday in the United States, the device will be available for booking and orders. The device is designed to allow users to make video calls at home and they don’t need to stand immediately in front of the screen or they don’t even need to hold a phone at arms’ length.
product putting the camera into homes is likely to raise privacy issues
But the launch of a product putting a camera into homes is likely to raise privacy issues for the social media giant, which has suffered several data breaches this year involving tens of millions of user accounts.
virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus
Although Facebook acquired virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus in 2014, this is the first time it has developed a consumer hardware product in-house.
2 sizes of Portal
Offering hands-free voice control, Portal comes in two sizes, a 10-inch screen which retails at $199 and a 15-inch version will go for $349. And to start the call, all it takes is: “Hey Portal.”
During calls, it can also play music on Spotify as well as tell children stories via augmented effects app Story Time.
And it also comes bundled with Amazon’s voice interface “Alexa”, enabling users to shop or control household appliances.
Integrated Camera can Automatically Zoom in and Out
During a conversation, the integrated camera can automatically zoom out to include a second person, or be instructed to follow a certain individual as they walk around.
risk of hacking is lower than with a smartphone or computer.
Facebook has moved to quickly allay security fears, saying that by keeping the processes on the actual device rather than in the cloud, the risk of hacking is lower than with a smartphone or computer.
AI technology runs locally on Portal
Calls will be encrypted, and the AI technology runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. It only sends voice commands to the servers after hearing, “Hey Portal”.
Portal has a button for disabling Cemera and Microphone
The camera can be blocked by a cover and the device has a button for disabling both the lens and the microphone.
Security is the Most Sensitive Issue for Facebook
Security is a sensitive issue for Facebook which had 50 million of its user accounts breached by hackers last month. Earlier in the year, it was forced to admit the personal data of tens of millions of users had been seized by Cambridge Analytica (CA), a British firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.
Cambridge Analytica is accused of collecting and using users’ personal data for political purposes without their permission. Facebook has since reasserted itself as a guarantor of privacy.
“Frankly if we don’t build the hardware, I do have concerns,You need to have abuse prevention very early on, you need to have security built in early on.”
The company worked with a US film director in order to make the camera movements feel natural, said Nick Fell, marketing director for the Portal team.
“We set out to try and make video calling so good that it feels like you’re sharing the same physical space as someone else”
Facebook representatives prefer to talk about their “mission” rather than business models and profits, but wireless speakers and video calls are a growing market.
the number of video calls on messenger doubled in 2017 than in 2016
There were 17 billion video calls on Messenger in 2017, double the number in 2016, according to official data.
Analysts reacted cautiously to the announcement, saying Facebook was late to the smart speaker market. But the technology may be a good move for future investments.
Tom Morrod said,
“From a market perspective there’s a good argument that for consumers, smart speakers and digital assistants are a crucial part of the future, a research director for consumer electronics and telecoms at IHS Markit.
“They’re the AI centrepoint of digital life or digital home. That’s why it’s a strategically important thing for Facebook to be doing.”